Cooper goes solo

The Sculptor EP, Greg Cooper

This latest release from Sydney musician Greg Cooper consists of six songs loosely centred around the theme of being sculpted and changed by God, through all kinds of experiences and challenging times.

While this is a clearly Christian release, it seems something more of a step towards a typical singer-songwriter album than 2013’s Again and Again.

All songs are written by Cooper, with the exception of two co-writes; one with fellow Emu contributor Mike Begbie and the other with American artist Marcella Detroit – formerly of Eric Clapton’s band and Shakespeare’s Sister, and a Top 10 ARIA charting soloartist in Australia.

The song Cooper wrote with Detroit, “Take One Step”, is certainly the most distinctive song on the album, and possibly the best – it combines Cooper’s acoustic sound, uplifting lyrics and strong hooks with a smattering of R&B stylings.

The other songs are more “typically” Cooper, but change things up appropriately among pop-rock and singer-songwriter type styles – which is impressive when you consider there are only two musicians on the record, including Cooper himself. The straight up- and-down soft rock of the title track rolls along at pace complete with a guitar solo, while “Rainy Day” would not sound out of place in a Finn Brothers playlist.

While there is enough musically on the six tracks to sink your teeth into, I did feel on occasion the lyrics were hinting at more speci c stories (such as “Take One Step”, which re ects on a deathbed conversation with a friend or relative), but didn’t always develop speci cally from those stories to latch onto and ground the songs.

That may have been deliberate on Cooper’s part, and this is a more subjective comment in any case, but it did feel at times the EP is caught a little between being a personal confessional songwriter collection and a more general devotional recording.

Despite that, this is a thoroughly listenable release with several strong tracks on board, one that stands up to repeat plays.